Summer is quickly giving way to fall, and the chiller mindset we adopt in the warmer months is starting to fade away. For many of us, the back-to-school season sparks a shift towards a more frenzied, rushed state of being, with less self-care and no wellness routine. That doesn’t have to be the case, though! In fact, maintaining a simple wellness routine can actually make you more likely to meet your goals.
According to Sophia Vale Galano, LCSW, a master level reiki practitioner, yoga teacher, and sound healer in Los Angeles, wellness is not just helpful for our physical well-being—it also can help us achieve our goals and complete projects, both of which enhance our sense of self-worth. “Often, it is when we do not accomplish our goals that we feel negative and want to give up on our wellness routine altogether,” Galano says. So what are some steps to take to actually streamline things? We’ve got a few ideas…
Pare your routine down to just one or two things.
When people decide to build a wellness routine, they often put too much on their plates. Yoga, therapy, massages, HIIT workouts, acupuncture… There are so many options for wellness activities and practices, but trying to do everything at once will inevitably cause burnout. Instead, take one step at a time. “I encourage you to start small,” says Galano. “You might begin a simple wellness routine with just one or two wellness activities, such as one yoga class per week and one massage per month. After a month, if you are ready for more, you can add to it.” In other words, don’t overwhelm yourself from the start. Choose a few activities that mean something to you—ones that bring you the most joy, or ones you’re curious to try.
Stick to a consistent schedule.
Switching gears from summer to fall can come with a whole lot of time-management trouble, especially when you have kids. (It’s that time of year when work meetings inevitably tick up, your kids are restarting school, and more.) This is when being deliberate with your wellness routine matters most. “In order to simplify your wellness routine, I recommend keeping a consistent schedule as best you can,” advises Galano. “While it’s important to remain flexible, a consistent routine creates a sense of structure, and structure can lessen anxiety and stress.” For instance, if you see a therapist, schedule your appointment for the same time every week. If you love going to workout classes, choose a few mornings that almost always work for you. Need acupuncture? Choose the same day each month to go. According to Keri Gans, R.D., a registered dietitian and certified yoga teacher in New York City, putting your workouts and self-care activities into your calendar as if they’re appointments ensures that you carve out time and don’t book over them. “When you’re organized and you treat it as an appointment, you’re more likely to show up,” Gans says.
Take a supplement that supports immune and gut health.
In your quest to streamline your wellness routine, adding in a postbiotic is another super easy step you can take. Created through a fermentation process, postbiotics are non-living metabolites that support both our immune health and digestive health when consumed. In fact, over a dozen published studies have shown that EpiCor postbiotics (an ingredient in dietary supplements) can help you maintain your immunity and gut health, and even reduce nasal congestion. According to Gans, postbiotics, like probiotics, can be found in fermented foods like miso and kefir, but taking them as a supplement means you’re guaranteed to get the optimal amount. Research suggests 500 milligrams may provide the best results. That makes supplements like Healthy Origins EpiCor and Country Life Gut Connection® Immune Balance™ great choices. Plus, EpiCor postbiotics can be taken any time of day (and don’t need to be refrigerated), so whatever your schedule, they’ll fit in seamlessly.
Go for the 10-class pass—seriously.
While it might seem counterintuitive to buy a package of workout classes ahead of time as a way to simplify your routine, doing so can up your accountability—and accountability helps us accomplish our goals. “It is absolutely appropriate to purchase a prepaid package or a bundle of sessions to enhance your accountability,” says Galano. On top of that, she suggests finding a workout buddy you can take classes with. This can add more accountability to the equation and make the experience more enjoyable. “Extra support is always a good idea,” notes Galano.
Focus on what actually works for you.
If you spend time scrolling on social media, you may have it in your head that everyone else is out there living their healthiest lives with ease. Those green smoothies and long runs may look great on their feed, but someone else’s version of healthy living isn’t necessarily going to align with yours—nor should it. You’ve got to consider what that means to you. Like the old adage says, sometimes less is more. “Doing less at your best is way better than doing a lot at your worst,” Gans says. Galano echoes this sentiment, also suggesting you look inward while creating your routine. “Your wellness goals might evolve and look different than those of the people around you,” she says. “Honor your truth and what feels good to you.”